Neapolitan Mastiff Breed Information and Photos

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March 29, 2006
Mastiff.Breed Description: This ancient heavy-boned breed is massive and imposing in appearance. Originally bred for guarding home and property, the Neapolitan Mastiff is distinguished by his broad, flat skull, very muscular body, and an abundance of wrinkles and folds on his head. Agile and majestic, this courageous dog has a calm, even temper and when properly trained, makes an excellent watchdog and family companion.

Group: Working Group

Purpose of Breed: Guarding, fighting

Country of Origin: Italy

Average Size: Depending on sex, Neapolitans range from 24 to 30 inches and can weight up to 165 pounds.

Color(s): Typically blue, black, tawny, or mahogany. The Neo can be either solid or brindle.

Coat Type: Short, thick, and shiny.

Grooming: This breed is an average shedder that requires regular brushing to keep its coat in top condition. Standard care is required for ears, pads, and nails. Eyes should be inspected closely on a regular basis.

Exercise Needs: Despite their large size, Neapolitans do not need a lot of exercise. They prefer to lounge around and enjoy a fenced backyard. That said, they are not suited to apartment living and need plenty of physical space to accommodate their large size.

Temperament: The Neapolitan Mastiff was originally bred for guarding and fighting. Today the breed has a gentle and steady temperament to friends and family, but is still wary of strangers and willing to go to great lengths to defend home and property. Protective and alert, this breed can be a heavy drooler when nervous or eating and consumes up to a gallon of food per day.


Due to his large size, the Neapolitan Mastiff needs a confident trainer who is both calm and assertive and can maintain proper leadership. Females of this breed are somewhat more submissive than males. This loyal dog does well with children, but due to its large size, should be supervised when around small children.

Common Ailments: Susceptible to hip dysplasia, immune system problems, "growing pains," heart problems, hypothyroidism, cleft pallets (or tail problems) and cherry eye.

Life Expectancy: Averages 8-10 years.

Trivia: It is thought that it was Alexander the Great who first brought the Neapolitan Mastiff to Italy, where the dogs were taken to war by the Romans and matched up against wild animals such as lions and elephants.

More Information: United States Neapolitan Mastiff Club

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December 16, 2016

All I want for Christmas are my two front teeth. Dante is an Italian Mastiff. He was 3 months old in the picture.


This was taken last year at Christmas and he loved meeting Santa and all the attention he got.

Dante sitting in Santa's lap

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October 19, 2016

She was rescued - 7 years ago. She likes to snuggle and laugh, her whole body wiggles when she laughs :)

Fiona sitting on a deck

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December 12, 2008

Emma is 4.5 years and an English Mastiff. I got her as a puppy in Chiliwack BC. Breeders. She likes to hip check


She's a pretty lazy dog but when she has energy we take her for a short walk.

mastiff portrait

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March 9, 2018

It can be difficult to get the right amount of daily feedings with the right proportion of nutrients for this big breed. Get tips on feeding a Neapolitan Mastiff in this page.

Neapolitan Mastiff with a large bone

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